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Black History in Ingersoll

Ingersoll Art Installation Celebrates Town History

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Duane Kumala-Thomas, local artist & creator of the Underground Railroad Art installation writes:
The rich tapestry of history that is Ingersoll, is Oxford, is South-Western Ontario, is Upper Canada, stretches through the soil and deep into the roots. However, I felt it necessary to present the idea that history happened to everyone, be them black, white, both, or other. Using the familiar theme of the underground railroad as a focal point, the sculpture aims to represent Ingersoll’s involvement in accepting, aiding and growing amongst a new and increasing black population in the 1800s and beyond. The visual of train tracks breaking through the soil and springing up into the Ingersoll air will present viewers with the emphatic feeling of a journey travelled in discretion and concluded where/when in this place, travellers came up for air, settled and planted new roots

As history would have it, Ingersoll had a part to play in forming the landscape throughout the years. To further commemorate that, the following consequential dates will be mounted onto the railroad ties; 1793: Thomas Ingersoll arrives and erects his cabin on what is now Thames Street 1852: Year that the village was incorporated into the Town of Ingersoll 1858: Famed American abolitionist John Brown visited Ingersoll & area 1916: 168th Battalion, Oxford's Own is formed; "B" Company based in Ingersoll The top most railroad tie will read “NOW”, signifying that the lives we live today are the makings of history when looking back years from now.